Posts Tagged ‘responsibility’

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Cast of Wonders 345: Staff Picks 2018 – Pocosin

Show Notes

Every year in January, Cast of Wonders highlights some of our favorite episodes from the previous year. It’s a great chance for us to take a bit of a breather, and let you, our listeners, catch up on any missed back episodes with new commentary from a different member of the crew.

Today’s episode is hosted by assistant editor Alexis Goble.


Pocosin

by Ursula Vernon

This is the place of the carnivores, the pool ringed with sundews and the fat funnels of the pitcher plants.

This is the place where the ground never dries out and the loblolly pines grow stunted, where the soil is poor and the plants turn to other means of feeding themselves.

This is the place where the hairstreak butterflies flow sleekly through the air and you can hear insect feet drumming inside the bowl of the pitcher plants.

This is the place where the old god came to die. (Continue Reading…)

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Cast of Wonders 298: Pocosin

Show Notes

From the author: Pocosins are a type of raised peat wetland found almost exclusively in the Carolinas. The name derives from an Eastern Algonquian word meaning “swamp on a hill.” They are a rare and unique ecosystem, today widely threatened by development.


Pocosin

by Ursula Vernon

This is the place of the carnivores, the pool ringed with sundews and the fat funnels of the pitcher plants.

This is the place where the ground never dries out and the loblolly pines grow stunted, where the soil is poor and the plants turn to other means of feeding themselves.

This is the place where the hairstreak butterflies flow sleekly through the air and you can hear insect feet drumming inside the bowl of the pitcher plants.

This is the place where the old god came to die. (Continue Reading…)

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Cast of Wonders 167: Setting My Spider Free by Caroline M. Yoachim


Setting My Spider Free

by Caroline M. Yoachim

Cool air swirled in through the window and carried with it the faint tapping of claws scratching against stone.  A spiderling was climbing my tower.

Lilymiya stirred.  She’d spent the daylight hours in her corner with all her legs fanned out across the floor, trying to ward off the summer heat.  My poor spider. Her fur, so thick and comforting in the winter, was patchy and ragged. Clumps of it gathered along the base of the walls, and thick strands clung to the grimy sweat on my skin.

The spiderling appeared on my windowsill.  It was medium-sized — bigger than a loaf of bread, but a hundredth the size of Lilymiya.  I didn’t want it to disturb the webs that decorated my walls, so I reached up and grabbed it with both hands.  The spiderling twirled its legs in the empty air as it tried to cool itself.

(Continue Reading…)

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Cast of Wonders 165: Into The Forever Place by Luke Thomas

Show Notes

Our story this week is a special re-broadcast of Into the Forever Place by Luke Thomas. This story originally ran in July of last year, but the recording suffered from a technical failure that meant we took it down almost as soon as it went up, so we’ve decided to re-release it for your listening pleasure.


Into the Forever Place

by Luke Thomas

I fasten the last braid about Jad’s shoulder and step back. My belly flutters as I look him over, which isn’t normal. Jad’s my best friend. I’m never more comfortable with anyone than with him. Today, though, he is to be venerated, and he looks the part. I knew the dyes used for this sash were precious, but only now do I understand what that means.

We both examine his reflection in the slab of mirrored glass leaning against the wall. The mirror’s old tain yellows everything—the wood and mortar walls, my pale skin and Jad’s dark—it’s all yellowed except the braids of the sash. They wind around Jad’s lanky torso in blues and greens more vivid than life. I know a veneration ceremony is about the clan, not about Jad, but we can both see he looks splendid. His chest swells. I can’t help but laugh. “Jad…you’re preening.”

He blinks, realizes how puffed up he is, and laughs. This doesn’t last long though; Jad recovers himself more quickly than I can manage. He’s a trained storykeeper, after all, and can isolate the rhythm of his breathing and trim the laughter right out of it. I’ve no such control.

(Continue Reading…)

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Cast of Wonders 162: Sister Winter by Jenni Moody


Sister Winter

by Jenni Moody

We were just going to bed when the townfolk came, led by Mrs. Hutch with her know-all voice.

I climbed up the cabin ladder to the loft, careful to curl my toes over the rough beams of wood. Ma had fallen off the stairs just a week ago, and now she slept downstairs on the sofa. The cabin was just one big room, so she could still yell up at me and Minn to make us quiet down.

Minnie had the covers pulled up over her head. I could see her eyes shining out from a little hole, like a cat in her cave.

“Move over, Minn.” I swung my legs under the covers. She scooted back, and I pressed my feet against her thighs.

Minnie wrapped her hands around my feet. Their warmth prickled. “So cold!”

The underside of the covers twinkled with little points of light. Minnie touched her finger to the sheet. When she pulled it back there was a warm, red star there. She made two rectangles, a star in each corner of the boxes. An arc of stars lead from the bottom of one rectangle to the center of the other. My feet in Minnie’s hands.

(Continue Reading…)

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Cast of Wonders 161: The Rum Cake Runner by Jessi Cole Jackson


The Rum Cake Runner

by Jessi Cole Jackson

Sitting on the threadbare sagging couch cushion, Nesi tied her Sneaks’ laces tight, double knotting the loops. The apartment was warm, as it always was, and smelled sweet, as it always did.

“And pick up those vanilla beans before making your rounds. It’s important.” Uncle Toni said. Her head whipped up.

“No way! I’d have to go to the market with a full load.”

He just shrugged. “If you go after your deliveries again today, Rohit will have closed up shop again and we need it for tonight. No arguments.”

“The mutts’ll sniff me out for sure! I’ll be a wafting target.” Nesi said.

Nonna chuckled from her old wooden rocker in the corner. “She’s just like you, Antonio. She doesn’t understand how to not argue.” She rocked and knit, her work already done for the day despite the early hour. They could bake the sweets Nesi was responsible for delivering anytime, but the bread making – the smaller, but only legitimate aspect of the De Luca family business – had to be done at night so it was fresh each morning.

(Continue Reading…)

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Cast of Wonders 136: Flotsam by Rebecca Schwarz


Flotsam

by Rebecca Schwarz

I’m about to blast a Grunt when the game freezes. Mom’s commandeered the link, and now she appears, in her old chinos and a tee-shirt, among the rubble of the Axis bunker.

“Mom! Get off!” As long as she’s on, my avatar is frozen like an idiot and open to attack. I text Katya my situation although it should be obvious.

“Don’t speak to me in that tone, Ian!” Mom says. “Log off and come to the kitchen.”

There’s no point in arguing. I shut down my avatar and sign off. I hope Katya makes it to the next level. If not, no way is she partnering with me again, or sitting next to me at lunch.

The 3D shuts down, sucking the setting sun up to the foreground rubble. The wall fades to beige. I flop back on the floor. It’s always startling how small my room is when the screen is off. My toes touch the wall where the screen was, and when I stretch my hands up over my head, I can feel the curved join where the opposite wall becomes the floor.

I get up, slide the door open and yell, “What do you want?”

(Continue Reading…)